How to Store Dry Dog Food Long Term?

Dog food can be quite an investment, albeit one that’s worth the cost. After all, anything for your good boy. However, after making the effort to choose, and buy the best dog food for your furry friend, you need to make sure you store it safely so it doesn’t go bad. Here, we’re going to discuss all you need to do to make sure you can safely store, and later use your dog’s food.

Why Do You Need to Store Your Pet’s Food?

There are numerous reasons for ensuring safe you safely store your dude food, and the biggest is the health concern. Dog food can be contaminated by microorganisms just like our food. These microorganisms, like salmonella, can be extremely harmful to your pet’s health and should be taken very seriously. The second thing you need to be careful of, is rodents attacking your pet food. If you leave the bag out in the open, don’t be surprised if you find the ends of it chewed on by rats.

dog food in a bowl

Finally, your pet breaking into your food stash is another cause for concern. Overeating can be dangerous for animals and can lead to a lot of health complications. As such, keeping your dog food in a safe place is of utmost importance.

How to Properly Store Dog Food

Store It in Its Original Bag

Most people empty their pet food in large, plastic storage containers. However, according to the FDA, this isn’t the best thing to do. The bag of your dog food has its manufacturing date, batch number, and other important details on it. You need to know the storage life of your products if you ever need to file a complaint with the FDA.  If there is an issue with the quality of your dog food, the FDA requires these details so they can pull these out of the stores, and talk to the manufacturer.

Low-quality plastic containers can also make your food go bad. In contrast, dog food companies pack their products in quality-controlled bags. The bags come with oxygen barriers, which make sure the food inside stays fresh.

dog looking over boy's shoulder with its tongue out

If you do want to store your pet food in a container, place the entire bag into the container. Always close the bag tightly after use, by rolling down the edges of the bag, and sealing them with a clip or rubber band. You can empty your food in a container if your bag gets damaged. Just be sure to write down the necessary details on the bag somewhere. Making sure the container is air-tight, completely dry, and clean, is also important.

Take Care With the Material You Use With Storage

People recommend using glass or metal containers to store pet food. While plastic is cheaper and readily available, cheap plastic has toxins in it. Glass and metal get clean very easily, and don’t get discolored.  However, if you’re sure of the quality of the plastic, a plastic container is okay too. Just make sure it has a tight-fitting lid.

Dog food in a paper bag

Wash Plastic Container Before Every Refill

When you refill the container with new dog food, it is best to wash the container. If you can’t wash the container, wipe it down thoroughly with a cloth. Make sure you remove all the crumbs inside, because old dog food will go bad, and contaminate the new dog food.

This is because there is oil in the kibble that gathers at the bottom of the container. This oil goes rank, causing the rest of the food to slowly go bad too.

Store the Food in Small Amounts

Whether it be dry, or wet food, it is best not to store a lot of it together. When purchasing dog food, go for two smaller bags instead of one big one. You can open the small bags one at a time. However, you will have to expose all of the dog food in the larger bag to the atmosphere when you open it.

You should also apply this to pet food stored in plastic containers.  Even if one container goes bad, or gets contaminated, the others will remain safe.

dog biscuits spilling from paper bag

Take Care of the Temperature

The temperature you store your pet food at is a very important step in ensuring safe storage. You need to keep the container, or bag in a shaded place to avoid it being affected by fluctuation of temperature.  High temperatures can cause pet food to lose its nutritional value, and we don’t want that.

Also, ensure the temperature of the area of storage is below 80 F, which is fine for kibble, and unopened pet food. However, if you’ve opened the pouch of pet food, you need to store it in the fridge. Ideally, the temperature in the fridge should be below 40 F.

Freeze Your Dog Food

Freezing pet food can increase its storage life drastically. This trick is especially beneficial for wet food. However, the cold will lead to moisture in the food, which is why you need to pack it properly before freezing. Freeze the food in small portions, so you don’t have to defrost all of the food every feeding. If you try to refreeze the pet food after you’ve melted it once, it will go bad.

dog leaning on counter to eat out of dog bowl

Store your dry food in either a sealed bag or in an airtight container. If the cold air gets in the food, it will give cause freezer burn and will leave behind water when melted.

Make sure your food stays frozen solid until you are ready to use it. An important point to consider is that people claim that freezing the food changes its taste.


Following these guidelines properly will ensure you can store your dog food for a long time. Additionally, always be sure of the manufacturing date, and expiry date on your pet food when you buy it. You don’t want to buy a bag that is old or will expire soon. If you find something wrong with the quality of your pet food, report it to the FDA.

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